With its mountainous landscape and tropical climate, Haiti, which shares the island of Spanish with the Dominican Republic, has the basic ingredients of a holiday destination. However, decades of poverty, instability and violence, especially since the 1980’s, have almost killed this perspective and have left Haiti as the poorest country in all America.
Under the brutal dictatorship of voodoo doctor ‘Papa Doc’ Duvalier, Francois, and his son, Jean-Claude, known as “Baby Doc”, political dissent was systematically eradicated and opponents jailed or killed. When Jean-Bertrand Aristide was elected president in 1990, the country’s future seemed brighter until it was overthrown by the military shortly thereafter.
Despite economic sanctions and military intervention led by the United States forced a return to constitutional government in 1994, yet the fate of Haiti has not improved, since there are still many complaints about some fraud election and continue to torture and brutality in course. In 2003, a wave of protests against Aristide quickly spread throughout the country plunged into total chaos in Haiti. In 2004, armed rebels took control of many cities and the violence spread across the island. In February 2004, Aristide fled the country.
Former President Rene Preval won the presidential election of 2006. However, Haiti continues to be affected by violent clashes between rival gangs and political groups. The UN has described the human rights situation as “catastrophic.”
Geography of Haiti
Haiti is in the Caribbean and includes mountain forests west of the island’s Spanish, which shares with the Dominican Republic. Its area includes the island of Gonave, in the Gulf of the same name, including the turtle islands of the peninsula to the north. Haiti’s coast is full of magnificent beaches, including extending lush subtropical vegetation, even covering the slopes leading to the coast. Port-au-Prince is a magnificent natural harbor at the end of a deep horseshoe bay.
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